More than a dozen tigers killed in a year – that’s grave news for a country which was hailed for its record third “zero poaching year” for rhinos.
Most of them were poached in and around the Bardia National Park, reported the daily Annapurna Post. Not long ago, the country was celebrating the fact that not a single tiger was killed during the one-year period between February 2013 and February 2014.
Since the poachers take the animal carcass with them, cases of poaching are difficult to track. The whole body of a tiger – from toe nails, skin and bones to the meat – is put up for sale on the international market by the poachers. Only when the petty traders are caught with tiger skins and bones in their possession do the authorities learn that the animals were killed by the gangs behind the illegal trade.
Last year, police caught poachers with tiger skins and bones at different places in the country. Thanks to the concern of authorities, a poacher who was on a run for years after killing Nepal’s first GPS (Global Positioning System)-collared tiger Namo Buddha was arrested. However, the frequent sighting of nomadic Banjara people in western Nepal is a reason for worry for conservationists and security agencies as they have in the past been involved in poaching and illegal trade of tiger parts.